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Egyptians say F-16 deal proves Morsi passed U.S. test ‘with flying colors’

Special to WorldTribune.com

CAIRO — Egypt has concluded that the delivery of advanced F-16
multi-role fighters marked U.S. support for the Islamist regime of President
Mohammed Morsi.

Analysts and diplomats said the U.S. agreement to begin delivery of the
F-16 Block 52 aircraft to Cairo marked a watershed in relations between
Morsi and President Barack Obama. They said Congress, despite repeated
threats, was not expected to block the arrival of the 20 F-16s.

A U.S.-made F-16 is seen emblazoned with the Egyptian flag. /FNC/Carl Richards

Sawfat Al Zayat, a retired Egyptian Army brigadier general, said the
F-16 deal was a signal by Washington of support for Morsi in wake of Egypt’s mediation that ended war between Israel and Hamas in November 2012. Al Zayat said the message was meant to the Egyptian military as well as the opposition.

“We need to bear in mind that Morsi had been put to the test during the last [Israeli] war against Gaza and passed with flying colors from the U.S. perspective,” Al Zayat told Egypt’s Al Aharam newspaper.

“Congress will not intervene, unless there is some dramatic excess or
unless Muslim the Brotherhood deviates from the framework of its
understanding with Washington,” former Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister
Hussein Haridi said. “In any event, the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo
understands the rules perfectly and has no intention of breaking them.”

The analysts said Obama approved the F-16 delivery to Egypt amid
concerns by Israel and Congress. They said the aircraft project marked a
demonstration of trust by the administration of Morsi’s interest in
maintaining regional stability.

The U.S. approval of the F-16 delivery took place amid a strategic
dialogue between Cairo and Washington in December 2012. The analysts said
the administration did not link the aircraft deal to security cooperation
with Israel or a counter-insurgency campaign in the turbulent Sinai
Peninsula.

“Washington would support the authority in Cairo as long as it remained
committed to the democratic process,” Al Ahram quoted a U.S. source as
saying on Jan. 14. “To officials in Washington, it is the defense question
that counts more than the political, even if the arms deal has sparked some
political controversy here or there.”

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1 Comment for “Egyptians say F-16 deal proves Morsi passed U.S. test ‘with flying colors’”

  1. The statement that “Washington would support the authority in Cairo as long as it remained committed to the democratic process” is absurd. The Muslim Brotherhood has long said that it will enforce the Shariah, and the Shariah and “the democratic process” are totally incompatible. Ask any Imam, and he will confirm that. Certainly, Obama must have had a reason for giving the F-16′s to Brotherhood-ruled Egypt, but it wasn’t “the democratic process”. And, it certainly wasn’t intended to show displeasure at the Egyptian persecution of the Coptic Christians. Perhaps It was intended to show Israel just how dedicated Obama really is to its security.

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